Lactation alters the effects of conditioned stress on immune function

Nola Shanks, Alexander Kusnecov, Michael Pezzone, Jonathan Berkun, Bruce S. Rabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During lactation, endocrine function is altered and stress responses are dampened. Stress effects on immune function are partially determined by endocrine factors; therefore, we assessed whether stress similarly alters immune function during lactation. Sprague-Dawley rats were conditioned by exposure to a tone paired with foot shock (2 sessions, 16 shocks each) prior to breeding or were left undisturbed. Lactating (day 10) (Lac) and nonlactating diestrous virgin controls (C) were killed immediately after reexposure to the tone or removal from their home cage. Plasma corticosterone stress responses were dampened in Lac relative to C animals. Peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation to T cell receptor antibody stimulation was reduced to a similar extent in both experimental groups. Conditioned stress reduced splenocyte proliferation and increased nitrite accumulation in C animals, but not in Lac animals. Mesenteric lymph node lymphocyte proliferation was significantly increased after stress in Lac compared with C animals. Both plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) and phytohemagglutinin-stimulated splenic IL-6 production were increased in Lac animals compared with C animals after stress exposure. These data indicate that stress-induced alterations may be determined by different regulatory mechanisms within immune compartments and that these effects depend on the physiological state of the organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume272
Issue number1 41-1
StatePublished - Feb 20 1997
Externally publishedYes

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Lactation
Shock
Interleukin-6
Lymphocytes
Phytohemagglutinins
Corticosterone
Nitrites
T-Cell Antigen Receptor
Breeding
Sprague Dawley Rats
Foot
Lymph Nodes
Antibodies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

Cite this

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Lactation alters the effects of conditioned stress on immune function. / Shanks, Nola; Kusnecov, Alexander; Pezzone, Michael; Berkun, Jonathan; Rabin, Bruce S.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, Vol. 272, No. 1 41-1, 20.02.1997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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